Subglacial Melting

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June 25, 2023 by Helen Hill

story from Helen Hill for MITgcm

This month we spotlight research using a regional implementation of MITgcm to explore Antarctic subglacial runoff. 

A new study by Daniel Goldberg (Edinburgh University), colleagues Andrew Twelves, Martin Wearing, and Paul Holland (at British Antarctic Survey) used MITgcm to examine the effects on sea ice and circulation on the continental shelf by using modeled and observational estimates of runoff to force a regional model of the Amundsen Sea Embayment a location contributing several hundred gigatonnes of meltwater to the ocean each year. The paper, a preprint of which is available on the ESSOAR preprint server,  is submitted to JGR-Oceans. [This paper is now published at September 23, 2023)

“Little is known about Antarctic subglacial hydrology, but based on modeling, theory, and indirect observations it is thought that subglacial runoff enhances submarine melt locally through buoyancy effects,” says Daniel. “However, no studies to date have examined the effects of runoff on sea ice and circulation on the continental shelf. In our study, we used modeled and observational estimates of runoff to force a regional model of the Amundsen Sea Embayment.”

The article discusses the team’s exploration of the regional impacts of subglacial runoff on ice shelf melt and ocean circulation in the Amundsen Sea Embayment of Antarctica. Goldberg et al used MITgcm to simulate regional sea ice, ocean circulation, and ice shelf melt, finding that subglacial runoff amplifies ice shelf melting and has far-reaching impacts on ocean circulation. They also found that the warming caused by the runoff leads to a reduction of seasonal sea ice over the continental shelf in the summer months. Their study suggests that Antarctic subglacial runoff is a potentially important source of fresh water and heat that is not represented in current regional and continental ocean models of Antarctica. The article emphasizes the need for better quantification and a deeper understanding of subglacial impacts on the Southern Ocean as direct observation of ice shelf cavities and grounding lines increases.

To find out more about this work contact Daniel

Story image credit: Joe Mastroianni, NSF, License type: Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

About the Researcher

Daniel Goldberg is currently a Reader in the School of Geosciences, at Edinburgh University. His work combines numerical modeling with theory to better understand glaciological processes. Daniel has been an MITgcm user since 2011. When he has the time, he enjoys hiking in the highlands and swimming in Scottish lochs.

This Month’s Featured Publication

Other New Publications last month

Basinski-Ferris, A. and Zanna, L.(2023), Estimating freshwater flux amplification with ocean tracers via linear response theory, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss. doi: 10.5194/esd-2023-14

Erika Callagon La Plante et al (2023), Electrolytic Seawater Mineralization and the Mass Balances That Demonstrate Carbon Dioxide Removal, ACS EST Engg., doi: 10.1021/acsestengg.3c00004

Chau, T.-T.-T., Gehlen, M., Metzl, N., and Chevallier, F.(2023), CMEMS-LSCE: A global 0.25-degree, monthly reconstruction of the surface ocean carbonate system, Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss., doi: 10.5194/essd-2023-146

Sheng Chen, Jiepeng Chen, Xin Wang, and Ziniu Xiao (2023), Varying Relationship between La Niña and SST Anomalies in the Kuroshio and Adjacent Regions during Boreal Winter: Role of East Asian Winter Monsoon, Journal of Climate, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-22-0611.1

Das, I. et al (2023), In the quest of a parametric relation between ice sheet model inferred Weertman’s sliding-law parameter and airborne radar-derived basal reflectivity underneath Thwaites Glacier, Antarctica. Geophysical Research Letters, doi: 10.1029/2022GL098910

Yankun Gong et al (2023), Numerical investigation on the generation and evolution of nonlinear internal waves in the southern Strait of Georgia, Progress in Oceanography, doi: 10.1016/j.pocean.2023.103053

Hager, A. O., Sutherland, D. A., and Slater, D. A.(2023), Local forcing mechanisms challenge parameterizations of ocean thermal forcing for Greenland tidewater glaciers, EGUsphere, doi: 10.5194/egusphere-2023-746

Jung YW, Kim BS, Jung HK, Lee CI (2023),. Distributional Changes in Fishery Resource Diversity Caused by Typhoon Pathways in the East/Japan Sea, Fishes, doi: 10.3390/fishes8050242

Eliza M.-R. Kempton et al (2023), A reflective, metal-rich atmosphere for GJ 1214b from its JWST phase curve, arXiv: 2305.06240 [astro-ph.EP]

Kucukosmanoglu M, Colosi JA, Worcester PF, et al. (2023), Observations of the space/time scales of Beaufort sea acoustic duct variability and their impact on transmission loss via the mode interaction parameter, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, doi: 10.1121/10.0019335

Albert Eric Larson (2023), Flux to Flow: A clearer view of Earth’s water cycle via neural networks and satellite data, URI Doctoral Dissertation

Albert Eric Larson et al (2023), Discerning Watershed Response to Hydroclimatic Extremes with a Deep Convolutional Residual Regressive Neural Network, Hydrology, doi: 10.3390/hydrology10060116

Mingyue Liu et al (2023), Scale-dependent eddy diffusivities at the Kuroshio Extension: A particle-based estimate and comparison to theory, Journal of Physical Oceanography, doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-22-0223.1

Mingyue Liu et al (2023), Nonlocality of scale-dependent eddy mixing at the Kuroshio Extension, Frontiers in Marine Science, doi: 10.3389/fmars.2023.1137216

Andrew Meijers et al (2023), Finale: impact of the ORCHESTRA/ENCORE programs on Southern Ocean heat and carbon understanding, Proc. Royal Soc A, doi: 10.1098/rsta.2022.0070

Ivo Pasmans et al (2023), Tailoring Data Assimilation to Discontinuous Galerkin Models, arXiv: 2305.02950 []

Carlyn R. Schmidgall et al (2023), Dynamical Controls on Bottom Water Transport and Transformation across the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, Journal of Physical Oceanography, doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-22-0113.1

Shailee Patel, Bhasha Vachharajani, Neeraj Agarwal and Rashmi Sharma (2023), Developing a High Resolution Non-hydrostatic Ocean Circulation Modelling System: A case study for VIZAG, Proceedings of the 19th Annual Meeting of the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS 2022), August 1-5, 2022, Virtual, doi: 10.1142/9789811275449_0037

Yidongfang Si et al (2023), Heat transport across the Antarctic Slope Front controlled by cross-slope salinity gradients, Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.add7049

Amita Singh, Suneet Dwivedi, Alok Kumar Mishra (2023), Analyzing upper ocean variability of the Chlorofluorocarbons in the Indian Ocean using regional high-resolution ocean biogeochemical modeling, Regional Studies in Marine Science, doi: 10.1016/j.rsma.2023.103008

Sonnewald, M., Reeve, K.A. & Lguensat, R. (2023), A Southern Ocean supergyre as a unifying dynamical framework identified by physics-informed machine learning, Commun Earth Environ doi: 10.1038/s43247-023-00793-7

Sun, R., Liu, Y., Sonke, J.E. et al. (2023), Mercury isotope evidence for marine photic zone euxinia across the end-Permian mass extinction, Commun Earth Environ, doi: 10.1038/s43247-023-00821-6

Jake Taylor et al (2023), Awesome SOSS: atmospheric characterization of WASP-96 b using the JWST early release observations, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, doi: 10.1093/mnras/stad1547

Zhencheng Xing et al (2023), International trade shapes global mercury-related health impacts, PNAS Nexus, doi: 10.1093/pnasnexus/pgad128

Jingxuan Yang, Patrick G.J. Irwin, Joanna K. Barstow (2023), Testing 2D temperature models in Bayesian retrievals of atmospheric properties from hot Jupiter phase curves, arXiv: 2305.10249 [astro-ph.EP]

Yi Yang et al (2023), A diagnostic framework linking eddy flux ellipse with eddy-mean energy exchange, via ResearchSquare, doi: 10.21203/

Madeleine K. Youngs and Glenn R. Flierl (2023), Extending Residual-Mean Overturning Theory to the Topographically Localized Transport in the Southern Ocean, Journal of Physical Oceanography, doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-22-0217.1

Shuo Zheng, Kosuke Heki, Zizhan Zhang, Yuta Tokui, Haoming Yan (2023), Interference of ocean and land mass changes in seasonal crustal deformation of coastal stations: A case study in northern Australia, Earth and Planetary Sciences Letters, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2023.118212

Zhu, S., Wu, P., Zhang, S., Jahn, O., and Zhang, Y. (2023), A high-resolution marine mercury model MITgcm-ECCO2-Hg with online biogeochemistry, Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss., doi: 10.5194/gmd-2023-89

Do you have news about research using MITgcm? We are looking for contributions to these pages. If you have an interesting MITgcm project (ocean, atmosphere, sea-ice, physics, biology or otherwise) that you want to tell people about, get in touch. To make a post, contact Helen